As well as contending with severe weather, the Met Office also has to compete across a variety of channels with huge media brands and several niche operators. But when armed with a super computer, a legion of highly trained meteorologists and a network of observation stations spanning the country, the Met Office is and should be the only place we turn to when we need accurate weather information.
The Met Office entered a collaborative partnership with Nomensa to stay in step with changing customer needs. We provided robust research and insight that could ultimately be translated into a new, responsive website and high-performing app.
Together, we scoped out their sector, conducted exploratory projects for their app presence and led a major website redesign and app evolution; ultimately delivering a digital experience that would engage a broader audience and enable greater reach.
There were a number of challenges facing the Met Office’s website. As is often the way with longstanding institutions, the Met Office’s website had grown organically into tens of thousands of pages. Content, while invaluable to its audience, was hidden away from interested eyes. Elsewhere on the Met Office's horizon, it had identified a chance to strengthen its position in the market by extending its reach and bolstering its reputation.
We began by holding interviews with the organisation’s stakeholders to establish key objectives. These were to:
- Identify and personalise user journeys
- Boost visibility of the industry-leading content produced by the Met Office
- Increase reach and enhance brand strength
- Push the boundaries of how weather information is communicated
- Capitalise on the Met Office’s bounty of data (of which it used just 1%)
We translated our research into detailed user stories and personas. Rich in meta-data, each identified a channel of choice, fixed criteria, Met Office segments, priorities, painpoints, motivations and goals. These user stories were essential as they formed the basis of all the development tickets used to complete the rebuild of the website.
Examining the sector
To carry out quality research based on the objectives, we had to recruit participants based on their location and context of weather forecast requirements. So, knowing weather impacts regions in varying ways, we sent our UX researchers (and now rookie meteorologists) around the UK to get wind of consumer pain points.
Recruits were made up of an array of individuals; ranging from dog owners and ice cream sellers, to people with health concerns like asthma. Testing revealed a whole roster of behaviours, motivations and lessons that we later used to build our personas.